A Curry Festival?! Interesting! Save the Date and some Tums Foodies. Kingston’s 1st Curry Festival will be May 22 from 6pm – 12am at Hope Zoo with food, live performances and an artisan village. Early Bird Tickets are now available for $1000JMD. Children under 12 are FREE.
Two of my favourite Curry joints, Lyming at Walkerswood and Murray’s Fish and Jerk Hut will be there! Also, Banyan Catering, Soup King, Sip n’ Go and more.
Part Proceeds from each ticket sold go to the Jamaica Kidney Kids Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting kids with kidney diseases through finance, education and support.
Mark your Calendars and buy your early bird ticket today!
Date and time of visit: Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 9:00pm
No. of diners: 2 adults
NB. Ratings fill 5 stars maximum
Food quality: ★★★★★
Serving amount: ★★★★★
Value for $: ★★★★★
Thatched roofs, bamboo, wooden tables and stools along with courteous staff, nestled in the lush greenery of the Serengeti Zoo, Chillin’ provided a comfortable setting to have dinner with my husband, Randy last Saturday night.
Chillin’ Restaurant emerged as a hot spot over the holidays and seems suitable for teens and up.
When I saw Murray’s Curry Goat on the menu, I instantly knew the owners of Murray’s Fish and Jerk Hut, Clarendon have come to town! It kicked my senses into high gear.
I instantly ordered the Murray’s Curry Goat and Roti Waffle bites.
The Curry Goat was deboned, tender, juicy and spicy complemented by veggies and a soft Roti Waffle to cool things down.
Salads, Chicken Strips, Wings, Wontons, and Corn-on-the-Cob are other Appetizers on the menu ranging from $900JMD to $1600JMD.
There are also attractive group platters ranging from $2500-$3600JMD with options of healthy servings of Jerked meat, Wontons, Corn and Wings with a variety of sauces.
Our mains were presented attractively in healthy portions, both well cooked and quite savoury. That Chillin’s sticky House Barbeque Sauce is one for the recipe books.
Murray’s popular, seasoned to perfection Curried Goat, Smoked Pork Chop, Peppa Shrimp and Braised Oxtail are other succulent main items on the menu.
Chillin’ Restaurant and Bar seems like the perfect place to have a bite and pregame before a night out or the place to have a savoury, well cooked and seasoned meal accompanied by the sound of good music.
Suga brought you the low down for Crisp at The Gardens, Jamaica Pegasus ($5000 All Inclusive) and Picante ($7500 All Inclusive) at The Ruins, UWI Mona’s Visitor’s Lodge, so how were the other JFDF events? Suga Bears and Suga Daddies reported!
Most persons like to get bad news out of the way first. The events with the highest price tags were not that impressive for some patrons. That is, Vintage for $12000JMD all-inclusive and Brunch at the Gallery for $20000JMD/$150USD all-inclusive.
Meals at Vintage at the Manor in Jack’s Hill were described as basic and a low standard for Ortanique on the Mile, one of the restaurants in Florida that was represented by Owner Cynthia Hutson. Suga Bears enjoyed the view and Dessert though.
Brunch at the Gallery
Brunch at the National Gallery, Downtown Kingston presented by Suzanne and Michelle Rousseau was decorated beautifully by Tai Flora and had a sufficient selection of Wines by Select Brands, but the service of food was slow and it arrived to tables cold. The Brunch was from 11am to 4pm and after a long day, patrons were leaving at 4pm and Dessert was just being served. Should the blame go on the Event Planner, the Chefs or both? It was stated that the execution was poor.
The Presentation of some of the meals were also quite sloppy to say the least.
Did the Incredible Hulk have an accident here?! I was in disbelief and gathered that this was the consensus amongst most tables. This looked nothing like the neatly displayed dish on the Event’s social media page. Cold food, slow service and poor, unappetizing presentation is unacceptable for $20,000JMD. I believe things can be shaken up next year. There are so many other talented, efficient Chefs around and I understand the ambience of The National Gallery, but a change in venue could be considered as well.
Kudus to award-winning baker, Nadine Burie that probably saved both events. Her desserts are offered at Cafe Blue.
Setting bad news aside, persons fully enjoyed Meet Street and the Market in Downtown, Kingston ($500JMD entry)last Saturday. A patron said she did not know that Downtown could be so nice. The set up and atmosphere was phenomenal and the vendors outdid themselves.
Pork Palooza ($6500JMD All Inclusive) at Palm Drive, Hope Gardens that kicked things off for the festival on the Saturday the week before was a hit. The event is usually the favourite for Patrons. Jamaicans love their Pork! It wasn’t the unanimous favourite this year though.
Which event took JFDF 2017?!
Close call! It has been narrowed down to the new event, Chop Stix ($5000JMD All Inclusive) held at Zen Lawn, Hope Zoo last Wednesday that featured fare from the far East and the zesty, Picante!
Based on Food, Weather and Vibe, Chop Stix gets the edge. Picante had the on and off rain, which was uncontrollable with provisions put in place, but Jamaicans love a new event.
The Chefs, Caterers and Restaurants delivered at Chop Stix! Here was the Menu if you missed it. Chop Stix can’t be missed next year!
So what’s next for my Foodies? Restaurant Week!
Yes, I know Restaurant Week has lost its steam. Marketing has been ongoing but should be revised, including the selection of Ambassadors. JFDF being so close to Restaurant Week definitely overshadowed it.
Menus for Restaurants are more of the same, but it makes your choices that much easier. The good ones will pop out at you. So that means you may need to make reservations quickly or maybe not, because places I called yesterday that are normally booked out weeks in advance seemed to have quite a bit of space left.
For now, I am leaving you with my recommendations for the Epicurean and Delectable Categories. Here you go!
Epicurean ($4300 +tax +gratuity +beverages)
> The Terra Nova All Suite Hotel in Kingston.
Despite inconsistencies in service and quality throughout the year, they have managed to keep a good reputation for Restaurant Week so far.
Sidenote: I do not think any Restaurant in Market Place should be placed in the Epicurean Category. The venue is far too casual and a long wait is usually expected.
Out of town? Marguerites by the Sea, Montego Bay. You should expect a spectacular dinner and service with a seaside or picturesque garden view.
There are some other reputable Restaurants listed, but the lack of creativity with their Menus were the deal breakers.
Delectable ($3800JMD +GCT +gratuity +beverages)
> Fromage Bistro on Hillcrest Avenue in Kingston.
Nirvanna Indian Cuisine, Centro-Courtyard by the Marriott and Black Orchid Restaurant at Eden Gardens would be secondary choices.
In the other city? Both options from Mobay are primary choices – Mystic Thai and The Houseboat Grill. So persons can choose between the two based on the Cuisine desired.
***Stay tuned for more Restaurant Week choices from Suga Lifestyle.***
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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